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Best PDF to Excel converters of 2021: export spreadsheets from PDFs

Best PDF to Excel converters
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PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

The best PDF to Excel converters provide a simple solution to export data or tables of figures from PDF files to an Excel spreadsheet. Files can be imported either as a .csv or .xlxs.

The best PDF to Excel converters

Click the links below to go to the provider's website:

 

1. Adobe Acrobat DC

2. Nitro Productivity Suite

3. PDFZilla

4. PDFelement

5. SmallPDF

This is especially important because PDF files have become ubiquitous for business use, not least because they are not restricted to any specific operating system. Additionally, the ability to protect PDF files against editing, and even to eSign them, means they can be an incredible versatile and useful format for office documents.

PDF software is available for the most usages of PDF files. There are PDF readers for Windows, PDF readers for Mac, and PDF readers for Android and iOS.

For most ordinary users this is at much as they'll need when dealing with PDF files, probably the most common document format online. However, sometimes PDFs will need changes made, in which case there are plenty of free PDF editors at hand.

However, PDF files can be more than just text and images, with the ability to embed data, tables, and spreadsheets into individual documents. This is fine if you want all that information to remain there, but sometimes you may need to extract it, and normal readers and editors won't cut that.

This is where PDF converters come into play, and PDF to Excel converters can be an essential tool for business and research institutions who need to use, share, and process a lot of spreadsheet information securely.

Unlike some file conversion software, the process should be simple and easy once you have the right toolkit, with no concerns about data formatting becoming lost in the export process.

Here then are the best in PDF to Excel converters that we've found.

  • We've also featured the best free PDF to Word converters. 

The best PDF editor right now is: Adobe Acrobat Pro DC
Need to edit a PDF, not just view it? It's not free, but for professional results, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is the tool for you. It gives you total freedom to create PDFs from scratch and edit existing documents without fuss, on desktop or mobile.

(Image credit: Adobe)

1. Adobe Acrobat DC

The original and best PDF converter

Reasons to buy
+The original PDF developer+Comprehensive features
Reasons to avoid
-Pricing is high

Adobe are the original developer of the PDF format, so their Adobe Acrobat software should be the market leading software. It's certainly packed with features, which includes the ability to convert PDF files into XLXS files for use in Excel spreadsheets.

The process should be quick and painless, with the data preserved without need for reformatting. In Adobe Acrobat, you simply open the PDF file you want to export, click on the Export PDF tool, choose your format such as Excel Workbook or .xlxs, then export. You can do this on any device, including your cell phone. 

Once completed, you can then edit the spreadsheet tables using whichever device you're already using. This is also supposed to apply to scanned OCR data, and in each instance you can select the data you actually want to convert, instead of having to export the whole table from .pdf to .xlxs.

Acrobat is more than just about exporting files, of course, and you can create, edit, export, sign, and review the documents being worked on collaboratively. This of course includes any spreadsheets that you export from PDF format.

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(Image credit: Nitro)

2. Nitro Productivity Suite

A seamless solution that works across all your devices

Reasons to buy
+Supports all Microsoft Office file formats+Cloud-based platform +14-day free trial

The Nitro Productivity Suite is a full-featured and streamlined application that allows you to turn PDF files into Excel documents with a minimum of fuss. Indeed, Nitro claims that its tool allows people to convert PDFs into any Microsoft Office format within a matter of seconds.

Using the application, you can edit all images, text and pages stored in a PDF document and transfer them into an Excel spreadsheet. Just like the Adobe offering, you’re able to add and request digital signatures on PDF documents.

Another great thing about this product is that it’s cloud-based, so you can access documents and edit them from any smartphone, tablet or desktop PC. You can even turn multiple PDFs into a single, searchable document, and there are tools that let you share and view files easily.

Nitro Pro plan starts as a single license, which can be for an individual of a business with fewer than twenty employees. For a larger number of users you will need to contact sales.

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(Image credit: PDFZilla)

3. PDFZilla

A multilingual PDF to Excel app

Reasons to buy
+Supports 20+ languages+Batch conversion mode
Reasons to avoid
-Only available on Windows

The majority of PDF to Excel conversion apps out there are only available in English, which isn’t useful if you run or work at a company with a global reach. Need a solution on the language front? Enter PDFZilla.

Not only is it an incredibly powerful converter in its own right, but this app supports more than 20 languages, including German, French, Italian and Spanish. The software is also fast and easy to get to grips with, letting you convert PDFs with just three clicks.

You’re able to turn PDF documents into Excel, Word, Plain Text, Rich Text, JPG, GIF, PNG and more file formats within one platform. There’s also a handy batch conversion mode for dealing with multiple documents – up to 1,000 files – at the same time. The software only works with Windows.

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(Image credit: Wondershare)

4. PDFelement

A solid offering with decent platform support

Reasons to buy
+Editing and annotation features+OCR support+Mobile app for iOS

The majority of PDF to Excel converters are fairly broad in terms of their features, and PDFelement is by no means different. It’s been designed predominantly for professional users who need a tool for editing, converting, creating and annotating PDF documents.

What’s more, it boasts decent platform support, being available on Windows and Mac, with an iOS app too, allowing you to convert and edit documents while on-the-go. If you’re about to head into a meeting, having access to documents from your smartphone could be extremely useful.

PDFelement comes with a built-in optical character recognition (OCR) tool, which means you can annotate and add signatures to PDF documents. In a similar way to UniPDF, it tries to keep important elements of a document intact during the conversion process. 

For instance, if you have embedded tables in a PDF document, these will be converted into an Excel spreadsheet (hopefully) without issues. 

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(Image credit: SmallPDF)

5. SmallPDF

A versatile tool on a palatable monthly subscription

Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Supports multiple file types+Easy-to-use

SmallPDF is another good example of a versatile PDF management tool. With it, you’re able to convert PDF documents into a range of different file types, including Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint.

It’s very easy-to-use, and indeed cloud-based for maximum convenience, allowing you to access PDF conversion via the website from wherever you may be (providing you’re online). There’s also a downloadable app for those who want to work offline (for Windows and Mac PCs).

SmallPDF allows you to compress, merge and split documents, as well as add e-signatures. And when it comes to security, this solution will delete your files an hour after they’ve been processed, so you don’t have to worry about any important business data potentially ending up in the hands of third-parties.

The one negative is that SmallPDF isn't transparent on its pricing, pushing users to try the software first. However, the cost is fairly reasonable.